These days, a lot of the most productive IT recruiting happens outside of traditional recruiting channels. Specialized events like hackathons, coding competitions, robotics meets, and industry conferences are great places to learn about and engage with the most promising talent out there. Since these settings are informal, however, you end up getting brief elevator pitches rather than in-depth interviews. Here’s what to listen for in an elevator pitch to tell if an IT candidate is worth pursuing.

Poise and Presentation

Just because an elevator pitch is brief and delivered on the fly doesn’t mean that it has to sound hasty. Notice how the candidate carries himself and how he speaks. Many of the same judgments that apply to job interviews apply here. You are looking for candidates who seem confident, knowledgeable, and genuinely excited about the opportunities you have to offer. Take note of the technical language they use, and judge how succinctly they make their pitch. Watch out, too, for signs of arrogance and bragging. There is such a thing as being too confident.

Focus and Fit

A good elevator pitch is as informative as it is enticing. Pay attention to what the candidate is actually telling you about his credentials and his fit for the job. Try to see past the sales pitch aspect in order to examine the candidate’s actual aptitude. If they are smart, the focus of the pitch is not their overall skill but rather their actual fit for your job and your company. Have they convinced you they can make a meaningful impact?

Personal Goals and Professional Ambitions

Part of the pitch should tell you why you want the candidate. Another part should tell you why the candidate wants you. Try to get a sense for the candidate’s goals now and in the future, and judge those against what your company is able to offer. It can be hard to determine culture fit based on a three minute conversation, but you will pick up on clues. Can you see this person thriving at your company?

Gut Feeling

At the end of the pitch, what does your gut tell you? Has this person left you curious? Are you eager to learn more, and do you find yourself thinking back over the positions you have available? Conversely, did the candidate raise any red flags? Do they seem like a smart person but a bad fit for your company? Don’t hesitate to listen to your instincts.

If you’re on the talent hunt, you don’t have to wait to hear the perfect elevator pitch. Let the Boston IT staffing team at RennerBrown help you make your next great hire.

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